Friday, April 29, 2005

Traits and Skills of Successful Internet Entrepreneurs

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Copyright Marty Foley,

There are certain traits and skills that many successful online entrepreneurs have in common. Some mentioned in this article may seem simple and obvious, but don't overlook their importance.

You may not personally be strong in all areas, but you can get by as long as you can delegate tasks that call for them to someone on your team who is.

* Good Communicator

Whether you are communicating by email, your web site, ICQ, web-based forums, or whatever, you (or someone in your organization) need to demonstrate good communication skills - especially good writing skills.

Unfortunately, many online communications are very weak in this area. I'm not saying this to be critical, but to point out an area for improvement that many can benefit from by paying more attention to.

Since we're all human and prone to making mistakes, our communications may not be flawless, but the more clearly and accurately we get our message across, the more likely our prospects will grasp our message and take the desired action.

However, that does not mean that we need to try to impress people with complex language, nor that we even have to communicate in a way our English teachers would be proud of.

Research has shown that clear, simple, everyday language outsells complex language.

* Calculated Risk-Taker

True entrepreneurs aren't necessarily foolhardy gamblers or risk-takers, but tend to be willing to take carefully calculated risks after careful thought and planning (thereby reducing the risk). This is better than dragging one's feet too long, suffering from "analysis paralysis," wasting precious time over-analyzing things.

* More of a Doer Than a Dreamer

Having dreams and aspirations about becoming a successful entrepreneur is all well and good. The problem is, it is much easier to dream than it is to roll up our sleeves and get busy making those dreams come true. Only when we do more doing than dreaming will we ever become successful.

* Persistent

As I've watched new online ventures come and go, and others (including my own) come and GROW, I've noticed that persistence is a key ingredient missing from many failed ones. And some are right on the brink of success when they quit!

* Cautiously Optimistic

Rather than have a negative outlook on life (which will eventually by conveyed to prospects and customers) successful entrepreneurs tend to have a "can do" attitude, and to see opportunity where others only see problems.

* Goal Oriented

Entrepreneurs take a lot of satisfaction in setting and reaching business-related goals. This isn't surprising, as all humans have a natural desire to find satisfaction in their accomplishments.

* Customer Oriented

Hit and run entrepreneurs don't usually last, but those who focus on understanding and satisfying the wants, needs and buying trends of their customers, tend to thrive.

* Passion for the Type of Business

Entrepreneurs aren't just motivated by a desire to earn a living. They usually have such an interest in their line of business that it rarely seems like work to them. It helps them put in the long hours that getting a business up and running sometimes calls for.


Things change rapidly, especially online. The successful entrepreneur is willing to overcome mistakes, meet new challenges head-on, and adapt to change. Doing so can mean the difference between success and failure.

* Skilled at Marketing

In business, as the saying goes, "Everything is marketing." The world can not and will not beat a path to your door to buy your "better mouse trap" if the world doesn't know about it.

Regardless of what business you're in, marketing is the critical tool used to present the solutions that your products and services offer, to the rest of the world.

As legendary promoter P.T. Barnum said: "Without promotion, something terrible happens - NOTHING!"

Like any other skill, your marketing can be improved through increased knowledge and practice. Invest in expanding your knowledge of marketing. Doing so can serve you well throughout your entrepreneurial career.

Benjamin Franklin put it well when he said: "An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."

Of course, there are lots of other skills and traits that successful Internet entrepreneurs have at their disposal, but the above list covers many of the most crucial ones. May it help you also find success as an online entrepreneur.

More Helpful Resources...

Marty Foley's Internet marketing techniques and resources have helped set the standard in e-commerce, and are often imitated by other famous online marketers. They can truly help you succeed online:

Marty Foley's "Convert More Traffic" private members site helps web sites generate more traffic and turn more of it into buyers, leads, and higher profit:

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

7 Easy Ways To Increase Sales

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by David Bell

"What am I doing wrong?"

That's a question business owners often ask themselves when business is slow. Often, the answer is... "You're not doing anything wrong. You just need to do some things better -- and you need to start doing a few things you've been neglecting."

Here's a list you can use to evaluate your own marketing efforts. It includes what I've found to be the 7 most important marketing principles contributing to the success of ANY business.


Everyone may be a prospect for your product or service. But your marketing efforts will produce the best results for the lowest cost when you target prospects with the greatest need for what you offer. Identify a niche market. Customize your promotional material to appeal to their greatest need. Then multiply your results by defining several other niche markets and slanting your promotional materials to appeal the biggest need of prospects in each market.


USP is short for "Unique Selling Proposition". It's the compelling reason why a prospect will do business with you instead of with your competition. You'll attract the maximum number of customers when you offer a benefit they cannot get from your competitors. If you don't already have a USP, create one by adding something to your business you're not already offering. Convert it into a benefit statement and include that statement in all your advertising.


Always include a powerful offer in your advertising. Offer free information related to your product or service to generate inquiries or website traffic. Then make the most compelling discount or bonus offer you can afford -- to convert these inquiring prospects into paying customers. This automatically leads to the next marketing principle...


Most prospects won't buy the first time they hear or see your sales message. You need a system to collect contact information enabling you to reach them again with periodic reminders and offers. Many businesses develop over 50 percent of their sales by following up with prospects who previously requested information but didn't buy -- yet. Advertising is expensive. Maximize your return on it by following up periodically with the prospects it produced to convert more of them into customers.


Do you know the major reason why people don't buy something they want or need? They don't want to take the chance of getting something different than they expect and maybe even losing money. You can eliminate this risk by guaranteeing satisfaction. If you sell products, offer a liberal money back guarantee. If you provide a service, offer to continue working without additional charge until the promised result is achieved.


It's easier and less expensive to get more business from satisfied customers than to find new customers. Continually find or develop new products and services related to what you sell -- and offer them to your customers. Affiliate programs offer a quick and low-cost way for Internet based businesses to add new products and services to their inventory.


Continually test and evaluate the effectiveness of everything you use or do to promote business. Here's a highly effective 80/20 guideline you can use. Invest 80 percent of your advertising budget and effort in proven promotions and 20 percent in testing new variations. Most businesses using this system continue growing -- even in a highly competitive market.

Take a few minutes to evaluate how well you're implementing each of these seven marketing principles in your business. A small improvement in just one of them will boost your sales immediately. An improvement in several will generate a big increase in your total sales volume.
I hope this helps in your future marketing decisions.

About the Author
David Bell is Manager, Online Marketing, at , a leading Search Engine Optimization services firm and Advertising Agency.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Which domain name should I register?

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by Tom

If you are looking for a domain name for a website, or if you want to invest in domain names, it can be difficult to figure out what to register. There are so many domain name extensions. What is a domain name extension? A domain extension, or tld (top level domain), is the final part of a domain name, the part that comes after the dot on the right. Examples of common domain name extensions are .com, .net, .org, .info, and .biz. These are also called gtlds (generic top level domains). So, for example, with the domain name, somename is the name and .com is the domain extension (tld).

There are also country code top level domain extensions (cctlds). Some examples of these are .us (USA), .cn (China), .in (India), .de (Germany), and (UK). .TV (Tuvala) is also a country code extension but it is often sold as a general tld.

The most common and well known tld is .com. .Com was the first extension to be used extensively by businesses online. It is considered by many to be the king of all tlds because of how recognizable it is, the clout it's use offers and because it is the extension most likely to be typed-in (people will actually type the .com domain name in their browsers to go directly to the site even if they are not familiar with an actual site that may be there - this is free traffic in a sense). This can occur because people may assume all sites end in .com or that .com somehow is part of any name or it can occur due to "bleed" from other tlds - people see a name with some extension and when they go to look for it or type it in, they put .com instead. For many, .com truly is the internet.

.Net has generally seen less use than .com, but many still consider it to be the second most valuable extension. Many isps do use it. .Org is used by many non profits, various organizations and government related sites. Considered by some to be the second or third most valuable tld, in terms of recognition and resale price level. .Com, .net and .org are the original general use internet tlds. They are sometimes collectively referred to as CNO. They have been with us since the mid/late 80's.

New tlds were released starting in late 2001 with .info. This was soon followed by .biz. .Info, like the previously discussed tlds, is a general use tld that can be registered by anyone without restrictions. It is considered by many to hold great promise (in terms of it gaining recognition with internet users), because of the concept that it represents, information, which is a big part of the reason the internet exists, as a medium to transmit and retrieve information. It has seen some early success in terms of use and resales. A domain name resale is a domain sale by a registrant usually for much more than the registration fee.

.Biz was created with the goal of having an extension explicitly for business. It has the restriction that it only be used for bona fide business purposes. Some people are less enthusiastic about .biz, feeling it is slangy, while others feel it will do well in time because of its specific desigation as the business tld. It is seeing growing use and even some good resales.

CCTLDS were recently made available at the second level with three major countries - the USA, China and India (.us, .cn and .in). These were all previously heavily restricted or only available at the third level. Of these, .US does require us citizenship or a presence in the us for registrants. Many feel these extensions will do very well in time because of their indentification with the country they represent. One cctld, .de, has been extremely successful, with registrations rivaling .com and seeing some very high priced resales. Some feel these other cctlds could also do well in time.

Which domain extension should you choose and register? Most would recommend .com, and if it is avaliable in the name you want, .com should be the tld you get. If the name that you want is not available in .com, then you may want to consider the other extensions such as .info, .biz or one of the cctlds. Some feel that other extensions in time will develop .com-like recognition and be typed-in and be well known as they are advertised by businesses that start to use them. Others feel that this is unlikely to happen to any great extent due to the strength of the .com brand. In any event, it is a good idea to register the .com (if available) even if you want the new tld name (and it is available) because some people may make a mistake and go to the .com (as previously discussed). If you register the .com, you prevent someone from registering it and profiting from this traffic.

As far as the actual name goes, it may be good idea to get a name that describes your business in the shortest way. It ideally should contain a keyword related to your business. This way it may be easier for people to remember your site.

In addition to registering new domain names, you can also register expired domains using a domain drop catching service or you may be able to buy a domain name from a registrant through a domain name broker service, if not directly.

About the Author
Tom is a webmaster. Visit the expired domains guide for more information about domains and expired domains.


P.S. Dot ws (.ws) is one of the newest and fastest-growing Top Level Domains available - to get yours for free for seven days, visit here.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

How to write your website in 60 minutes

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by Chris Mole

Don’t be daunted at the prospect of writing your website copy. Here’s a simple outline that shows you how to compile the framework for a successful business website – and it shouldn’t take more than 60 minutes.


If you’re like most small business owners, the prospect of writing your website fills you with dread. You don’t know where to start and you’re not sure what to write. Or perhaps you already have a website and you’re wondering whether it’s really working to build your business.

Well, here’s some good news. Follow the simple steps below and you’ll have laid the groundwork for an effective business website that will not only turn visitors into customers but will also rank well with the search engines. And you can achieve this in just 60 minutes … maybe less.

The reason for a 60-minute time limit is that it forces you to focus on the key aspects of your business.

Of course, in 60 minutes you won’t be able to write everything you’ll ever want to include on your website. But you will have the basic information that your customers need to do business with you. And you’ll have a website that’s already way ahead of most small business sites in terms of effectiveness.

Step 1

So let’s start. The first step – and one that most people overlook - is to think about the words and phrases a potential customer would enter into a search engine to find your site. Website designers and copywriters usually call these “keywords”.

For example, if you’re a dentist in Christchurch, you might come up with “dentist, Christchurch, NZ” plus other phrases such as “dental services”, “cosmetic dentistry” and any other field of dentistry that you specialise in.

Take a few minutes to think about these key phrases, as they apply to your business. Imagine you are searching for your business in a search engine. What words would you enter? Remember, people tend to enter phrases of two or three words into search engines, rather than single words. Once you have selected three or four key phrases, these will become the foundation of your website content. This should only take 5 to 10 minutes. It is a vital step that most businesses neglect when writing their websites.

You will need to keep this list of phrases in front of you as you write your pages, and make sure your keywords are on every page.

Step 2

Now it’s time to start writing your home page. The first step is the headline, which must catch the attention of your readers immediately, otherwise they may click away without reading further.

Your headline should contain your most important key phrase. It may be as simple as “Bill Gummer, Dentist, Christchurch, New Zealand”. But don’t just put your company name in the headline. It must tell the reader exactly what your business is about. Another five minutes for the headline.

Step 3

The next step is to write two or three sub-headings. These must tell the reader what your product or services can do for them. For example, continuing the dentist theme, you might say: “Are you looking for a dentist who will ensure you feel no pain during your treatment?”. Or: “Top quality dentistry at an affordable price”. Or: “Cosmetic dentistry is our speciality”

Okay, now you’ve spent about 20 minutes and you have a main headline and two or three sub-headings. These are what most visitors to your site will read first. Only later will they get to the copy between the headings. This is why you focus first on the headlines.

Step 4

Now it’s time to write the main copy for your home page. Imagine you are chatting one-to-one with your potential client. Tell them why they should choose your business over someone else.

Refer to your list of keywords as you write, and try to use at least one of them in each paragraph, with the most important phrase in the opening paragraph. Your home page doesn’t have to be long. About 250 words is enough at this stage, to get across the essential facts.

Make sure you include vital information such as your contact details, street address and opening hours on your home page.

You should be able to complete this in 10 minutes. Total time elapsed, 30 minutes.

Step 5

Next, you’ll need to write a page about your products or services. Start by making a list. This should only take two or three minutes. Then, take each item on then list and say a bit about it. Again, remember you a talking one-to-one with your reader, so don’t be too formal, but try to weave your keywords into your copy.

This is the page where you should also include prices, if appropriate.

If you get stuck for words here, don’t worry. You can come back later. But at least you now have the basic framework of your page. Later, you can expand this page with more details. Don’t spend more than 10 minutes on this page.

Step 6

Next, write a page called “About Us”, or something similar. If you’re a one-person business, this can be similar to your curriculum vitae. If you’re a larger business, it will include the history of the company and its main achievements.

Again, don’t take too long over this. Just jot down the key facts, which should only take a few minutes. You should include photos of yourself and your staff on this page, too.

Step 7

Next, write a page called “projects” or “clients” or “portfolio” or something similar, which outlines projects you have done. Make a list at this stage, without worrying too much about filling in the details. Again, try to work in your keywords.

If you’re a well-established business, this list may be quite long and you can break it up later into several pages.

Step 8

Next, write a page called “Frequently Asked Questions” or “Questions and Answers”. Think of the top three or four questions related to your business. Make sure one of these includes your prices. This should take another 10 minutes.

Step 9

Finally, write a page with all your contact details. This should take two or three minutes at most.

Step 10

Make sure you spell-check your copy. Read it through a final time and check for grammar. Double check that your main keywords appear on every page.

Now, you have the framework for a basic six-page website, which not only tells your potential customers the vital information they need to know about your business but also is well placed to rank on the search engines.

You really can do this in 60 minutes. If you feel you need professional help to take your website copy a step further, you at least have the basic framework that a website copywriter can polish up into really sharp sales copy.

About the Author
Chris Mole is a freelance website copywriter based near Christchurch, New Zealand. He has more than 20 years experience writing for print, radio and Web media and now specialises in writing truly persuasive sales copy for small businesses.


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Monday, April 25, 2005

Free-to-Join Traffic Tool Brought Me 4 MILLION Ad Impressions and Over $14,000

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April 25, 2005

Reality: This Free-to-Join Traffic Tool Delivered
Over 4 MILLION Ad Impressions - and
Over $14,000!

Reality: Directly sponsored in IB – 459

When people see numbers like those, they usually ask me how it was done, or more importantly, "How can I do it?".
(Even if you're an InstantBuzz member already, you're probably not using this mind-blowing technique!)

The answer I give them is not:
- A big mailing list
- Paid advertising

The answer is:
I have a simple marketing program to systematically refer people to Instant Buzz, even while I'm snoring and dreaming of the day I purchase my home in Hawaii (or the Carribean). It's really not a secret at all.

Everyone who has reached "Leviathan" status in Instant Buzz either:

1) Had a huge list to start with - or -
2) Ta-Daaaa! They are using a proven system to refer people.

It's that simple. Really.

If you don't have a big list to refer people (I don't), then you need the system I am using. It's simple and it takes almost no time to setup.


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